On Doing What Makes You Come Alive

namaste mediaBefore becoming an independent business owner, I spent nearly a decade in county government. Starting in an entry level social work position, I quickly moved into management, program administration and left the agency as the Public Information Specialist. I learned a ton about business and bureaucracy in those days. I also wore many hats, wrote in all forms and became familiar with back-end website details like HTML and FTP.

It’s surreal looking back on some of the events of my life, thinking about how much certain things fired me up. Understanding code and “techie stuff” that confused lots of others excited me back then and it continues to excite me today. I also remember thinking I should’ve studied journalism during my senior year in college. Writing made me come alive. Instead I graduated with a B.S. in Interpersonal Communication, with a focus area of health and sociology. The universe supported me though. It put me exactly where I needed to be and gave me the exact experiences I needed to bring me to where I am today.

Today I know that those times I came alive were pointers to where I would end up. I felt stuck for so long and it took a lot of courage to leave but I am so glad I did. I absolutely love what I do and can’t imagine doing anything else now.

“If you want to know where your heart is, look to where your mind goes when it wanders.”

I live what I love every day by supporting others like me. How cool is that?

My days are filled with creativity via writing and web development and I teach others about things it took me years to learn, mostly on my own. I feel very blessed.

ThinkYOU Media supports individuals, entrepreneurs and small business. As a small business owner myself, I understand the struggles that small businesses face. Whether you are a one-man show (like me) or have a few employees, its hard to get everything done with little manpower. You have to wear a lot of hats to do it well. Messing with your website or online media is often an afterthought but it shouldn’t be. That’s where I come in. View all of my services here.

As a yoga teacher I constantly witness the amazing power of healing via conscious breathing and aware movement. The practice and teaching keeps me balanced, and my true calling is also about supporting other healers. I do this with my secondary online media business, namaste media

I’m a WordPress Developer, Content Strategist, Writer and Social Media Expert, and would love to help you meet your goals! Contact me today to learn more.

What makes you come alive? Are you doing it? Can I help get you started?

Why Blog?

blog 2A lot of people ask me about blogging and whether it’s helpful to business. “Absolutely yes,” I answer. Blogging is the first form of social media and it is here to stay. Certainly there are personal reasons people blog, but why and how is blogging good for business?

Here are just FIVE REASONS you should include a blog (and utilize it) on your business website.

It is FREE.

The old adage “nothing in life is free” came well before the concept of blogging. There are numerous marketing tactics businesses can employ to promote their products and services. Blogging is one easy undertaking that a company can utilize. The only cost is time.

Blogging establishes you as the expert.

You talk to your customers everyday. Blogging is just another way of doing so and there are literally hundreds of things to blog about. Think about the ways you educate customers – frequently asked questions, promotions, sales, new products, innovative ideas in your industry. The sky is the limit.

Three letters: SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Another frequently used term is SEM which is Search Engine Marketing. Every time you add new content to your website, Google and the other search engines are forced to re-index your site. Blogging a lot is a great way to position yourself effectively in search engine rankings.

You’ll become a better communicator.

Blogging forces you to put your thoughts in concrete written form. It can help you become a better writer and oral communicator, and effective communication is key to business.

Blogging can help you establish and develop better customer relationships.

The majority of people spend time researching products and services on the internet prior to entering a store. Establishing a following via your blog can help you to develop customer relations. People will get a feel for what your business is about via your blog.

If you’re still not sure where to begin, contact me for a free 15 minute consultation. I also offer blogging services for a fee to get you started.

 

Considerations In Creating A Website

wordpressimage-770x312Begin with a name. What will your website be called? Is the URL available? Is it a memorable URL? Are you limiting yourself too much with the name? These are all considerations as you embark on creating a new website. You can search to see if the URL(s) you want are available and most URLs are reasonable in cost – generally under $15 per year. Once you attain the URL or know the one you’d like to purchase, it’s best to work with a media company to keep you moving in the right direction.

Work with an media professional. Can you build a website on your own? What will it look like if you do? If you are serious about your online presence, hiring a web professional is your best bet. Price ranges are all over the board, as is skill level. It’s a technical skill that takes time to master, so hiring someone to do the behind-the-scenes work will save you a lot of precious time, as well as your sanity. As someone who’s worked in the industry for many years, I know the varying levels of service out there, and you get what you pay for.

The case for Wordpress. It can be intuitive, or it can seem altogether foreign, depending on the end user. For an average user, it can be overwhelming. To someone savvy in blogging software, however, it’s a fairly easy technology to understand. Make no mistake – there are lots of layers to the software and it takes time and effort to “get it.” I speak from experience. I didn’t learn to code in high school or college. I didn’t take programming classes at all. My degree is in Interpersonal Communication and my trade has always been writing in the various forms. I found myself wanting to blog and threw myself into understanding the various platforms out there. WordPress was scary at first but through time and use, I began to understand the layers to it. About a year after blogging on my own, I was hired as on Online Specialist by an international web company. At first I used their software to build websites for clients, but quickly found myself in the custom website department, helping clients develop their site on the WordPress platform. I worked one-on-one with developers all over the world and continued to learn more. Today, I do this very thing on my own.

Understand the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Essentially wordpress.com allows you to create, maintain and host a website and/or blog on their server directly. They offer many themes but lesser functionality than wordpress.org. The difference with wordpress.org is that you self-host your site. Additional tasks must be completed to do so, including adding your domain to your hosting and installing wordpress from a cPanel. It can be confusing, which is why using a media company can help. One reason you’d want to do this is because of all of the extra functionality that self-hosting offers.

Choose a theme. There are literally hundreds of themes available to choose from, and just looking at a theme does not really do justice to all that theme can likely do. When choosing a theme, the best thing to do is to look at and read about all of the elements available within that theme. How will you structure your site? Do you want a ‘sidebar’ that links to other places within the site and out of it? Do you like a full page template? Do you like rotating slider images at the top or a cleaner look? Maybe one image is enough. What is the best way to organize your content? A theme can speak to that as well.

Beautiful images are key to website ascetics. Once you know your vision, have a URL, are working with a web professional and have chosen your theme, begin thinking of images that will convey your story. Sites that are too content-heavy get skipped over, in lieu of sites with beautiful images. It’s important to strike a balance. You must own the images you use on your website, meaning you either took them yourself or you paid for them through a service like photos.com. Beyond that, there is other manipulation you can do to the images like added text and other overlays.

Include a blog on your site. Period. In order to do well in search engine rankings, a blog is key. Add a blog section directly on your site and use it weekly, at a minimum. Your blog is the perfect place to let your customers/clients know what you’re up to, promote new products and services, educate people and so much more. Beyond that, understand how blogging works so you can optimize your site with key words and meta tags. This is where working with a web professional can help. (More on blogging in my next post.)

Not sure where to start? Contact me. I offer 15 minute consultations for FREE to get you started, and beyond that you can choose the level of service you’d like.